The Baltimore Abortion Fund offers support and solidarity with the protesters in our city.
As an organization that deals first hand with issues of discrimination, poverty, and healthcare access inequity, we can attest to the struggles those calling our helpline experience. In a city where race and class divisions have simmered for decades, Baltimore citizens have dealt with these inequities with strength and grace, but they have been largely ignored by the mainstream media and many parts of our city. Police violence against Black residents in Baltimore has been an epidemic for years. The Baltimore Sun has done extensive work on the enduring problem of police violence in Baltimore - their latest article is here.
An organization that strives for reproductive justice is one that must publicly stand against racial discrimination because we know too well that race plays an integral part in the reproductive lives of our callers. Lack of housing, jobs, quality education, and safety are forefront in the minds of people who are choosing to raise, or not raise children in Baltimore. High rates of overzealous and discriminatory incarceration split families from their children. Parents in Baltimore struggle to provide for the families they have. People struggle to pay for abortions they need. Baltimore residents are resilient and resourceful, but the system is stacked against many people, no matter how hard they work. Racism needs to be acknowledged in that struggle. Historic racism segmented our city, and present-day racist policies keep it that way.
We applaud Marilyn J. Mosby bringing charges against all six of the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death, sharing with the community the facts of the case, and in offering official acknowledgement of the pain and suffering of his family and community. But we know this is not justice, and it’s not an end point. It’s a step in the long journey towards true justice, and we will continue to offer our assistance to those engaged in the fight to offer all the residents of Baltimore options and opportunities regardless of their race and income.
A movement for reproductive justice necessarily includes us working together. Racism has always been deeply felt in the struggle for abortion access, with women of color more likely to need abortions, and less likely to be able to afford them. Until racist policies that codify those barriers are eliminated, there will always be a need for abortion funds, and the Baltimore Abortion Fund will continue to stand with those united against racism.
To offer support in Baltimore, please see the following list for ways to help, volunteer, and donate. We cannot do it alone.
Baltimore Uprising - http://baltimoreuprising.org/
No Boundaries Coalition - https://www.facebook.com/NoBoundariesCoalition?fref=ts
Baltimore Bloc - https://twitter.com/bmorebloc
Baltimore United for Change - http://bmoreunited.org/
We are a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds, almost 100 funds across the US and beyond. NNAF offers their statement of solidarity here.